Veganuary: A Beginners Guide to Going Vegan for January

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Georgia Crabtree - January 14, 2020

Veganuary: A Beginners Guide to Going Vegan for January

It’s the New Year and a new decade! If you ask me, this means there isn’t a better time to try something new. Maybe veganism, or becoming plant-based?

I’m sure that you’ve all heard about Veganuary and why it happens during the first month of each year. After all, it’s a great cause supported by many famous faces. So, if you’d like to give it a go, here are some eco-friendly bedroom ideas, diet changes, and other small changes you can make:

 

Being Plant Based vs Vegan

When we talk about being vegan we tend to just think about food. And although food is a major part of being vegan, there is more to it than that. Being vegan is a lifestyle that extends to way more than just food. No animal derivatives in the home at all and absolutely no products that test on animals. 

If you’re just doing Veganuary for the month making all of these changes might feel impossible. It may be better for you to just be plant based instead. Being plant based extends only to diet so might be a bit less challenging for January! Veganuary doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Make small changes if you want, just cut out meat, or just reach for cruelty-free cosmetics. Be more aware! For example, I personally, I have a facial cleanser which contains beeswax that I’m not quite ready to let go of, so Veganuary for me will be more of a plant based month. Whether you integrate a vegan lifestyle or simply a plant-based diet following this helpful guide might make it that little bit easier. 

 

Look Out For The Leaping Bunny

The leaping bunny is the only internationally recognised symbol that guarantees that no animal testing took place in the production of the product. This symbol will become your best friend in Veganuary. 

Look out for this symbol on all your products, from skincare and makeup to oven cleaner! All of Tesco’s own brand cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products are cruelty-free and for an even cheaper option, Aldi’s cleaning range is all leaping bunny certified. If you are going full-blown vegan for January just be sure to keep an eye on ingredients. Often cosmetics can include milk or honey and still be leaping bunny certified.

 

Clothes

If you’re fully-committing to Veganuary, make sure that the things you put on your body aren’t animal derived. Be sure to avoid the materials such as fur, leather, wool, feathers and even silk. 

If you have a preference for natural materials, cotton, linen and hemp are the ones to look for. In the last few years, bamboo has become a popular eco-material too. So keep an eye out for any clothes made of this too! 

Man-made fabric alternatives include polyester, acrylic and nylon. 

 

Household

Finding vegan and sustainable furniture, soft furnishings and other accessories that don’t cost a small fortune can be a bit daunting. I recently bought and moved into my first house with my partner who is vegan and I thought at one point we might have to remortgage because of the cost of all the vegan and eco friendly things we were buying! But, I was wrong. We just needed to research. When you type in “vegan furniture” on Google, the results are overwhelming. So, let me tell you what to look out for. 

Leather is the obvious one. Leather sofas are still crazy popular, but there are lots of faux leather options now on the high street that are just as good as the real thing, 

Another thing to keep an eye out for is glue. The glue that holds furniture together often contains animal derivatives. We all know when we shop for furniture we aren’t given an ingredients list like we are with food, so if you’re ever unsure, I encourage you to ask. Send an email to the company and more often than not they will be happy to find out anything you need to know. 

Here at Happy Beds, we want to provide options for everyone! We have the fantastic Bamboo Vitality 2000 Pocket Sprung Memory and Reflex Foam Mattress which showcases the many benefits of utilising eco-friendly bamboo fibre. It is filled, topped and lined with bamboo yarn and enriched with memory foam, 100% vegan and eco friendly! 

Alongside this brilliant mattress, this year we introduced Panda London’s sustainable bamboo products. From duvets to mattress toppers to bedding we have an answer to all your vegan and eco-friendly bedding needs.

 

Food

Food is the most obvious thing that calls for adjustment during Veganuary. Meat, dairy and eggs will be omitted from your diet, as will any other animal derivative. Check all your labels. Often the things you expect to be vegan will contain some kind of derivative. You could be surprised by the things that are accidentally vegan, Oreos and Jelly Tots for example.

It is easy for us to tell you that all you need to do is cut out animal products and send you on your way - but I want to provide you with some of my households favourite vegan recipes. Last night I cooked up a vegan tapas storm! It’s easy, cheap and full of all things good for you. 

 

Vegan Tapas

The great thing about tapas is that it’s so adaptable. If you don’t like something, switch it out for something else. These are the favourites in my household! 

Vegan Sarladaise Potatoes


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Description

A decadent potato side dish, fried with caramelised onions, delicious!


Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp frying oil
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • ½ tbsp dried thyme
  • Pinch brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel and thinly slice your potatoes into rounds. Heat enough oil to shallow fry the potatoes in a pan and fry the round until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Thinly slice your red onion, pan fry with your olive oil until soft, at this point add a pinch of brown sugar and let the onion begin to caramelise. Add thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Finally, add your fried potatoes and saute until heated and combined! Enjoy.

Roasted Cauliflower with Tumeric Yoghurt


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

Description

A great vegan tapas option, side dish or topping for salads! Mix up the spices if you feel adventurous!


Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • 3 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp dried chillies
  • ⅓ lemon (juice only)
  • 3 tbsp vegan creme fraiche (I used Oatly)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan.
  2. In a bowl mix together your spices, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until all of the cauliflower is fully coated in your oil and spice mix. Put on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, tossing half way through.
  3. Whilst the cauliflower is roasting, prepare your tumeric yoghurt. Mix together the creme fraiche with some lemon juice, 2 tsp of tumeric and a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Spoon your cauliflower onto the top of the yoghurt mixture and garnish however you want!

Roasted Aubergine with Roasted Tomato and Pomegranate


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 70 minutes

Description

A delicious and easy to make vegan tapas dish - make this a main course and serve it with salad or have it as part of a huge tapas feast!


Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp vegan creme fraiche (I used Oatly)
  • ½ lemon (juice only)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Handful of rocket
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Sprinkling of pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan.
  2. Slice your aubergine in half length ways, leaving the stalks intact. Score the flesh of the aubergine halves with a knife making a criss-cross pattern and drizzle with olive oil, place on a baking tray flesh side up and roast for 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and prepare your pomegranate seeds.
  4. Assemble your aubergines! Pop the blistered roasted tomatoes on top of the aubergines, spoon over your creme fraiche dressing and top with rocket and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

 

Are You Giving Veganuary a Go?

Let us know, are you giving Veganuary a go? What are your favourite plant based meals? Share with us on  Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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